Jacinta in her current position as Manager, Student Learning Pathways at Victoria University has a leadership role in preparing and inducting non-traditional students from diverse educational backgrounds for study in degree courses at Victoria University.
She manages the university’s Higher Education Participation and Partnership (HEPP) funded Early-Uni Pathways initiative. She works with secondary schools and the University Colleges to build and support pathways for Year 11 and Year 12 secondary school students, through co-enrolment in tertiary and secondary programs, early university credits, academic development and transition experiences.
She has held previous roles in the transition field – Strategy Leader, Broadening Participation and Transitions and Head of School of Pathways and Transition at Victoria University.
As Head of School of Pathways and Transition courses, Jacinta was responsible for delivering a range of innovative preparation courses (Liberal Arts, Gateway to Nursing, Education Studies, ESL based courses) designed to prepare, support and transit students into vocational and/or academic courses. She also has played a significant role in supporting and preparing students currently in vocational courses for higher education and working with local communities to facilitate access and pathways for students from diverse backgrounds.
Formerly, Jacinta's role encompassed Head of the English Language Institute where she managed the delivery of English language services to 300 international students per year in six sites in China with a focus on preparing them for transitioning to Australia for their later studies. As part of this transition work she also managed the Victoria University’s ELICOS centre in Australia.
Recently at cross university level Jacinta had curriculum involvement in the development of a suite of Higher Education Diplomas designed in the VU Integrated Education Program. She is a member of the Academic Board and chair of its Quality Learning and Teaching subcommittee.
Jacinta is a published author of secondary school texts in English and History with a focus on building academic skills through developing a skills framework to scaffold student learning into these disciplines.
Richards,J. (1987) History Adventures, Heinemann 1987 - still in publication
Richards,J. (1993) Ancient History Adventures, - still in publication
Richards,J. (1993) Skills Based History, AGORA (magazine of the History Teachers Association Victoria)
Richards,J. “Heinemann Issues”, (1993) Heinemann magazine - Publication 1993 (VCE English resource)
She has presented her earlier work in professional forums for secondary schools, and later work, for Victoria University.
Richards J. (2001) Flexible Learning in Bureaucratic Environments’ Beijing International Learn Conference 2002
Richards J,.(2008) University Preparation Program China Hong-Kong English School, Zhongshan and at regional centres (Macou & Jiangmen) , PRC 2004.
Richards,J. (2010) Teaching and Learning Innovations - English Language Institute, Victoria University China Conference Beijing (2008), Chengdu(2010)
Richards,J. (2014) “A co-enrolment approach to university transition programs and the role institutional habitus plays in the potential success of such programs”, presented at the Australian Association for research in Education (AARE), QUT, Brisbane..
Areas of expertise
- Academic support
- Curriculum development
- Development, management and leadership of preparation and transition courses – local and international
- Leadership of community pathways programs
- Management and leadership of teaching staff
- Project management
- Teaching in preparation programs – Return to Study, ESL, VCE and Literacy